I Must Be Doing Something Right…

…because my running lately has been AWESOME!

I think I’ve learned a lot since the last time around. (Also, my coach is pretty awesome.)

Because long posts are better when boldface type and colons are involved:

Fueling:

(Otherwise known as eating to you normal people.) It’s no coincidence that my favorite activity has a lot to do with eating. I mean, you have to eat before, during and after to properly enjoy running. I’ve had more than my fair share of stomach issues this summer, but I think I’ve mostly found out what works and doesn’t work for me as far as pre, during and post-running.

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Last night, that meant a chicken sandwich and splitting an order of waffle fries with my friend Sara at the U.S. Open. (Yes, again! :))

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I didn’t eat her. She sang. She was 11 and had an amazing voice.

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This morning, I didn’t have any Luna bars, so I had a Clif bar instead (and my usual banana). It has more calories than a Luna bar, so I think those extra calories helped me on the run.

I also think I found the perfect combination of during-run fuel: one vanilla bean Gu packet at mile 6.5; one Honey Badger  (uhhhh, I mean Honey Stinger) started at mile 11.5 and nibbled on for the rest of the run.

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Why am I putting a picture of a bagel when I always have a bagel after a long run? What have I possibly learned from a bagel?

Well, last year, my post long-run breakfast included a bagel with cream cheese and an iced coffee. For my sensitive tummy, all that dairy plus iced coffee equaled a trip straight to the bathroom and feeling sick all day.

So this year, I don’t do iced coffee or cream cheese after my runs. (How did it take me this long to learn that?) I do a bagel with sunflower butter, sometimes banana slices, and always coconut water.

Ice Baths:

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Last year, I was pretty much terrified of them. They sounded pretty miserable.

You just…sit in ice for 15 minutes? After you’ve run for hours? How is this a thing?

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Well, tea and a hoodie help. (And reading an Iron(wo)man’s blog to learn all the ice bath tips.)

It’s really helped with post-run recovery. And making me feel even more badass.

Pushing Myself

I think this is the biggest thing. Last year, I definitely pushed myself, but this year I’m taking it to a whole new level. I do speedwork, I stick to probably 90-95% of the runs on my plan (this was not the case last year), and I run with faster people and people who are the same speed as me. As a result, my pace for long runs has significantly picked up from last year. Which is awesome.

Suck It Up Afterwards

You’re going to be sore. You’re going to be tired. Your stomach may still be bothering you from sloshing around for hours while you run. Unless you’re running to the bathroom every 10 seconds or can’t keep your eyes open, there’s no reason to turn down invitations to do stuff with friends.

All of these factors combined to make for one awesome run this morning, but I didn’t think it was going to be so great. I woke up with every intent of running 8 alone and then meeting up with Rebecca to run 8ish with her, but when I woke up I was exhausted, and so I laid around and screwed around on Twitter for too long before finally leaving around 8:15.

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I ran 3 miles alone (running into Ashley) on the West Side Highway and back to my apartment, where I met up with Rebecca. We headed back out to the West Side Highway and ran up to 97th Street before running across (and up a damn big hill) to the park. Rebecca left me around E. 72nd Street, and I finished the park alone (and somehow lost the loop? How am I such a park idiot?) and exited at Central Park South and ran across back to the West Side Highway, running up to 68th before turning around to run home and finish.

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The one picture I took doesn’t quite reflect it, but it was a gorgeous day–perfect for running. I was certainly sweating but never too hot. I stopped for a second at mile 13 to take this picture, and I was surprised how great I was still feeling. Usually, I’m pretty spent and dying for a run to be over at this point, but I was still feeling amazing. In fact, when I finished, I felt like I could have run a few more miles. (But I didn’t. I just took that feeling and brought it home and dumped it into the ice bath with me, where it died.)

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Here’s my relatively consistent, right around 10-minute-mile splits.

What have you learned since you started racing that helps?

11 comments on “I Must Be Doing Something Right…

  1. Kimra

    “I didn’t eat her” = best thing I have read all day.

    I am now fully an ice bath convert. It was *stunning* how much less sore I was the day after I took my first one. I also learned that my body NEEDS active recovery after a long run — so now I always swim or bike the day after. If I’m still a wreck the day after that, I’ll rest, but that hasn’t happened yet.

    Reply
    1. Theodora Post author

      Yeah–I’m actually really discovering the power of active recovery. Also, my legs were seriously FINE the day after my long run the other day. I was in serious shock.

      Reply
  2. Katie

    I saw you running in the park! How do you run with a camel pack? Doesn’t it make you hot?

    Anyway just wanted to say hi and that I’m very inspired by your story and how far you’ve come as a runner!

    Reply
    1. Theodora Post author

      Thanks! You should have said hi in the park!!! It’s not the heat that bothers me about running with my Camelbak, it’s that it chafes my neck sometimes 🙁 Although I just consider it a war wound…

      Reply
  3. Ericka

    So does this mean I have to succumb to the dreaded ice bath??? I was thinking about it last week when my knees were inflamed but I kinda scared. Not that bad? Ughhh. Anyway, love this post…I found the perfect fueling for me on my 20 last week too — amazing. I’ll let you know how the ice bath goes (next weekend is the test!)

    Reply
  4. Christina

    What kind of HRM/GPS thing do you have? I’m assuming it shows you the splits like that when you plug it into your computer? (If i wasn’t so broke, this wouldn’t be so foreign to me, haha) That’s the next thing on my list though! and I don’t know which kind to buy!!

    Reply
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